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What was happening aroundthe world?1751- Benjamin Franklin “discovers”electricity.1775-1781- American Revolution1781- Uranus discovered.1789- George Washington inaugurated1789-1795- French Revolution1803- The Louisiana Purchase1804- Napoleon crowns himself Emperor.1812-1814- War of 18121822- The Rosetta Stone is deciphered
Famous People of the EraKing Louis XIV of FranceNapoleon Bonaparte of FranceGeorge Washington of America
Famous Classical ArtistsFransisco de GoyaJohn ConstableEugene DelacroixJean-Honore Fragonard
What does the term Classicalmean?From 1750 on artists, musicians, andarchitects wanted to get away fromthe strange opulence of the Baroqueperiod and move to emulate the clean,uncluttered style of Classical Greece.This period is called Classical becauseof that desire to emulate the works ofthe ancient Greeks.
Characteristics of theClassical PeriodThe Church and Monarchs were no longer theprinciple benefactors of the arts due to thepolitical upheaval in Europe at the time.The aristocracy were the main patrons of thearts. They wanted impersonal but tunefulmusic from their composers. This led to theterm “absolute” music - which is music thatis written for music’s sake.
All of the Classical composers wereemployed by various wealthy patrons. Muchof their music was written for parties,ceremonies, or simply as a commission for anew work.The center of Classical music was Vienna,which is where all of the major composerslived and worked.There was also a sense of Nationalism in thecompositions.
Musical CharacteristicsGreat attention to musical formUse of dynamics as thematic materialInclusion of percussion instrumentsStrong sense of tension and releaseUse of modulationOperaUse of comic and witty melodies
Musical InnovationsSymphonic formSonata formString QuartetsHuge popularity of the OperaInvention of the modern Piano, as wellas many other instrumentsTheme and Variations
The Symphonic FormMastered by Franz Joseph Haydn - he wrote104 of them.An extended work for orchestra - usually 20 -40 minutes in length.Usually contains three or four movementswhich contrast each other. In a fourmovement symphony the order usually is afanfare type or fast opening movement,followed by a slower movement. The thirdmovement is usually a dance, and the finalmovement is fast.
The Symphonic Orchestra
The Sonata FormA one-movement piece for a solo instrument,usually accompanied by a piano - as opposedto a concerto, which is a multi-movementpiece accompanied by an orchestra.There are three sections of a sonata- Exposition Development RecapitulationAll sonatas follow this form.
The String QuartetA composition for four solo stringinstruments: 2 Violins 1 Viola 1 CelloEach part is equally important.Haydn was the first to write one - he alsomastered them.Piece usually has four movements similar tothat of the symphonic form.
OperaWhile opera was invented much earlier inmusical history, it was during this period andthe one that followed that most of the mostfamous operas were written - including: The Magic Flute The Marriage of Figaro Don GiovanniAll of these operas were written by Mozart.Beethoven, Haydn and Schubert has nosuccess with writing operas.An opera is basically a musical play with allof the words sung instead of spoken.
Famous Classical ComposersChristoph Willibald Gluck (1714-1787)Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809)Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)Ludwig Von Beethoven (1770-1827)Franz Schubert (1797-1828)
Christoph Willibald Gluck
Franz Joseph Haydn
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Ludwig Von Beethoven
Instruments of the ClassicalPeriodModern FluteClarinetFrench HornValved TrumpetTrombonePercussionPiano
ConclusionsMost of the most famous composers inhistory come from this era.By 1825, the modern orchestra was almostfully in place (except for the tuba and lowwoodwinds).It was during this era that many of the mostfamous pieces of music were written,including symphonies and operas.